Merhaba Dubai! On 15 December, Emirates launched its latest route from Dubai to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, a route which will be initially operated by the carrier daily using its three-class A330-200s. At the launch, anna.aero’s Assistant Editor, Jonathan Ford, caught a moment to speak to the airline’s Divisional SVP, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization & Aeropolitical Affairs, Adnan Kazim, about how the carrier plans to grow for 2016.
On 15 December, Emirates launched services to its 133rd
destination, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen. The Turkish city becomes only the third in the world to have two airports served by the MEB3 carrier, with the others being London (Heathrow and Gatwick) and Tokyo (Narita and Haneda). In attendance at the inaugural ceremony was anna.aero’s Jonathan Ford, who managed to get a brief moment to speak to Emirates’ Divisional SVP, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization & Aeropolitical Affairs, Adnan Kazim. One of the key talking points of the discussion was the rapid expansion of its A380 operations and where the airline was going to serve next with the aircraft type. Other topics covered included the development of the airline’s hub in Dubai and what Kazim felt of the growing threat from Turkish Airlines, as it too rapidly expands.
anna.aero: “So Adnan, analysis from anna.aero shows that Emirates usually announces between six to eight new destinations a year. So far the carrier has announced Panama City (launching 1 February) and earlier this week it also confirmed Yinchuan and Zhengzhou (both commencing 3 May). With the carrier’s network now covering a vast part of the world, where is next for Emirates?”
Adnan Kazim: “
So as you have just confirmed we have three new routes launching next year. China is a very key market for us and it’s time for the us to expand further into the country, so we feel that Yinchuan and Zhengzhou are two routes which will perform very well and we hope to add more services to China in the near future. In regards to new destinations, you have stated that we have a large global coverage and that is very true, for next year however we see strong development for the Asian region. Elsewhere, Africa is somewhere very serious for us to expand to. We see a lot of areas in this region where we as an airline can do a lot more.”
aa: “There you have mentioned there some areas where the airline is hoping to expand its network. However, you are also incorporating more A380s into the airline, the question is now where will we be next seeing these aircraft on your network?”
So by the end of next year we should have around 21 more A380s in our fleet. The main aim of this aircraft type for us is to help drive the demand in regards to capacity between our destinations in the east and west. The philosophy of the aircraft is to help increase the passenger througpout at our key bank time in the mornings at Dubai. There are many mature routes, especially within Europe that need the A380. We have three types of layout for the aircraft which helps us to have the right specifications for the types of markets that we serve with it. We have 40 points in Europe with some of those being key contestants for A380 services (since this interview, A380 services to Birmingham and Prague have been announced for 2016). We also see the aircraft type being a vital tool to open growth to the US.”
aa: “So at the moment Dubai is steadily developing its major new hub at Al Maktoum. flydubai recently commenced based operations from the hub. When will Emirates be moving to the new facility?”
Emirates’ Divisional SVP, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization & Aeropolitical Affairs, Adnan Kazim, tells anna.aero: “There are many mature routes, especially within Europe that need the A380. We have three types of layout for the aircraft which helps us to have the right specifications for the types of markets that we serve with it.”
: “So the new airport is still at a very early stage in its development to become a major global hub. It’s hoped to have a capacity of 120 million passengers a year. At this moment in time we do not expect Emirates to be moving passenger operations to the facility until at least 2023/24. We still have plenty of room to grow from our current Dubai base especially with our present growth pattern which you have mentioned a little bit earlier in this discussion. However, I cannot see us moving to the new facility anytime soon.”
aa: “So today we are here in Turkey for the launch of the carrier’s latest service. It is also one of the hubs for Turkish Airlines, a carrier which itself is expanding at a monumental rate. What is Emirates thoughts about the increased competition from the carrier?”
We have a clear strategy behind our growth, and so does Turkish Airlines. We are not only in competition with them however, but indeed with a multiple of carriers in a world of increased and intense competition. One thing at Emirates is that we don’t only try to better the competition, but also to better ourselves. There is always improvements to be made and that is exactly what we do with our product, always keep improving. Our product offering is at its highest position and we have invested in the right technologies and still do invest in the latest. That is what always brings back passengers, the experience that they have on-board. Competition does not stop us, we have a clear strategy and that is what has placed us where we are today.”
Kazim: “Our product offering is at its highest position and we have invested in the right technologies and still do invest in the latest. That is what always brings back passengers, the experience that they have on-board. Competition does not stop us, we have a clear strategy and that is what has placed us where we are today.”